The End Of The Spear
Okay, so I have been wanting to see this movie for a long time and finally rented it today. Kendra was in the pool with Vickie and so I got to watch it alone which I think was good. It was a deeply affecting movie; stunning in it's cinematography, stirring in its story and challenging in it's method. At first it was a distraction to me that Chad Allen was playing Nate Saint. There was a lot of controversy at the time because he is an outspoken homosexual. God uses the foolish things of the world, however, and soon into the film that wasn't an issue for me any longer. I have read Elisabeth Eliot's "Through Gates of Splendor" but have forgotten most of it. The movie really made me think about sacrifice and living a sold out faith.
Particularly disturbing was the scene where the natives killed Nate Saint and his fellow missionaries. Somewhat like watching, The Passion Of Christ, the death scene made it all more real to me. I found myself thinking several times that at the time of their deaths every one of those men was younger than I am now. Their deaths were brutal and harsh, yet they died because they knew they would live eternally in Heaven. A stunning moment in the movie comes when Nate Saint tells his young son Steve that if attacked he will not fight the natives because they do not have the opportunity to go to Heaven, where he does have that opportunity. I think what struck me the most was the matter of fact way that this line was delivered.
Also, stunning was the confrontation scene between an adult Steve Saint (also played by Chad Allen) and his father's killer. For those of you who know the story, the families of the men who died went back into the jungle to live with the natives. The chronicles of this time were also challenging. Eventually, Steve Saint (as an adult) is asked to come and live in the village with the tribe that killed his father. One of the men he had grown close to (Mincaye) takes him to the beach where his father died and admits there that it was he who killed him. One of the most powerful moments of the film comes when Steve Saint, while processing this information) takes a spear into his hands and approaches Mincaye as if he is going to kill him. Mincaye continues to say, "I killed your father". Steve Saint begins to cry and pulls the spear away and tells Mincaye, "No one took my father's life. He gave it up."
The movie has made me think. Am I sacrificing all my life for God? Can I forgive the way Jesus forgave? Can I live a life worthy to call myself Christian? Am I willing to literally lay down my life so others can come to know him. Can I echo Nate Saint in saying even if I must die, others must live to hear the message?
I have to admit some of my reactions were amplified knowing that Bekah and Jamin are there right now. I am so proud of the sacrifice they are making this summer. I pray they will affect many for God's Kingdom, while they themselves, are also affected.
I recommend this film to you. It will challenge your faith and remind you of what is the most important duty we have as Christians. Telling others, regardless of the cost. Men like Jim Eliot and Nate Saint modeled that. They modeled that because they believed in Jesus who modeled it before them. This experience leaves me with one challenging question: is Jasper willing to lose what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose?